The Federal Government has disclosed that henceforth, it has given the oil marketers a free hand to import, bargain, and determine the price of fuel in the country.
This was revealed yesterday by the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA). PPPRA said the full deregulation of the downstream sector of petroleum has come to stay as the government would no longer fix the pump price of petroleum in the country.
Recall, the Pipeline and Petrol Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), had on September 2, introduced an ex-deport price of N151.56k for PMS as against the former N138.62k obtainable in August.
The development resulted in sky-rocketing the product price to between N160 and N163 in filling stations across the country.
However, with the latest development of the total deregulation of the petroleum product, the future is bleak on what awaits the country’s economy.
Others are of the opinion that the development would ensure an adequate supply of the product but with the attendant consequence of high inflation for time being, while others predict the hike is going to be short-lived as gradually it would stabilize just as what happened in the telecom industry.
On the other hand, some stakeholders opined that the only way it should have stabilized is for Nigeria to be refining its petroleum product by itself and also save foreign earning.
During a press briefing in Abuja, Saidu Abdulkadir, The Executive Secretary of the PPPRA said this would play out fully when many marketers would resume the importation of fuel.
He acknowledged that currently there is a challenge of foreign exchange which is impeding the importation of fuel by marketers.
Explaining further, the ES as represented by Mr. Victor Shidok disclosed that with yesterday’s announcement of total deregulation, prices of petroleum products would strictly determine by market forces.
Shidok said, “You can have a regulator that always serves as a watchdog to see how these forces are being played out; how the interests of all operators and consumers are taken care of.
“It is a market that is open based on bargaining power and based on where you source your product.
“Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) is a marketer; it also sells the product and also carries out the analysis as to the price it wants to sell the products to its customers.